Joshua Frydenberg (47) was sworn in as Treasurer and Deputy to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Friday. He wore a black kippah and used a Hebrew bible (Old Testament) for the oath.
Joshua, the son of Holocaust survivors, is close with the Chabad movement and regularly attends synagogue on Shabbat. His mother, Erika Strausz, is a psychology professor at Melbourne University. She was born in Hungary in 1943 and immigrated to Australia after World War Two where she met and married surgeon Dr. Harry Frydenberg.
Frydenberg received a Jewish education at Bialik and Mt. Scopus schools in Melbourne. He was a talented tennis player before he decided to study economics and law at Monash University. He interned at the State of Victoria Supreme Court as well as at the High Court of Australia.
Frydenberg also attained a master’s degree in international relations from Oxford and a master’s of public administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Friend of Chabad
Frydenberg is married to Amie Saunders and a father to two children. His political life only began eight years ago when he was elected to parliament representing the district of Kooyong in 2010.
His latest appointment is the result of the recent instability in Australian politics as Scott Morrison replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, the sixth PM in a decade.
Frydenberg is quite involved in Jewish affairs and is considered a friend of Chabad and participates in many events. He also called on Jews to participate in a “Worldwide Shabbat.”
Last year, Frydenberg visited Israel as Minister for the Environment and Energy. He held a number of meetings, including with Minister Ze’ev Elkin and he signed a declaration for environmental cooperation between Australia and Israel.
Chabad Rabbi Shimshon Yurkowitz described Frydenberg as “proud Jew and the Jewish community is very proud of him.”